November 23, 2019 / 2:44 PM / 22 days ago

Rahm grabs share of lead with Lorenzo-Vera in Dubai

(Reuters) - Jon Rahm was on the right side of a two-shot swing at the final hole as he tied Mike Lorenzo-Vera for the third-round lead at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - European Tour - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - St Andrews, Britain - September 28, 2019 Spain's Jon Rahm during the third round Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Rahm is seeking to become the second Spaniard after the late Seve Ballesteros to win the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai crown or its predecessor, the Order of Merit.

“It gives me goosebumps to think about that,” he said after carding six-under-par 66, a score bettered only by Rory McIlroy, who shot 65 to get to within two strokes of the leaders at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

“As a Spanish player, any time you join or have a chance to put your name on a list where there’s only one name and that name is Seve, it’s pretty impactful. It’s really emotional for all of us,” said world number five Rahm, who is on 15 under overall.

“To think that even Sergio (Garcia) or Miguel Angel (Jimenez) or Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal) or many other great players couldn’t get it done - it’s hard to believe that I have the chance to be the second.”

Frenchman Lorenzo-Vera was on the verge of holding onto the sole lead going into the final round, only to bogey the par-five 18th after his drive trickled into the creek right of the fairway.

A four-times runner-up on the European Tour, he has yet to win and knows he will be an underdog against Rahm and McIlroy.

After shooting 69, Lorenzo-Vera said he had three million reasons to be nervous.

“It is in my mind for sure,” he said of the $3 million first prize. “I mean, maybe tomorrow you shoot like six-under and then you put your family out of any trouble for the rest of your life.

“So of course it’s going to add some pressure. Hopefully I’ll be shaking for the good reasons.”

World number two McIlroy continued his rollercoaster run by scoring nine shots better than he had managed on Friday.

He said he had identified a minor swing flaw after his second round and had reaped the benefits of an adjustment.

“Not just golf, but that’s what life is all about, learning from what you do and being of a present mind so that you can learn as you go,” said McIlroy, who cannot win the Race to Dubai even if he wins the tournament.

“I sort of figured out what I did wrong yesterday, and I was able to rectify it somewhat today and get myself back in the tournament.”

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood kept alive his hopes of winning the Race to Dubai with a 70 that left him four shots off the pace.

But money-list leader Bernd Wiesberger’s hopes of ending the season as European number one suffered a hammer blow with a 73. He is 13 strokes off the lead.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru and Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Lawrence

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